Average Funeral Costs: A Complete Cost Breakdown

How Much Does a Funeral Cost? 

Anywhere between $1000 and $15000, according to what type of service you want, and factors such as where you currently live. 

But to go into a little more detail, we’ve listed the average cost of a funeral below, and the various factors that affect the prices of a funeral in the US. 

On Average, How Much is Spent on Funerals?

In America, the average funeral costs amount to $7360 for a burial funeral service. For a cremation service, the average cost is $6260. Depending on the services required, these expenses can go up and down. 

Does the Cost Change By Type of Service?

To put it simply, yes. If you want a specific service for your funeral, the type you settle on is going to make a big difference in the expenses you have to fork out for. 

The Cost of a Burial 

To be buried, it’s going to cost about $7360, according to the national average. However, if you want to be buried in a vault, that price will rise to $8755. 

A burial service does not innately include a grave plot, nor a headstone. The cost of a plot in the US is between $700 and $2000 for a publicly owned cemetery. To secure a plot in a private cemetery, the cost is between $2000 and $5000. If you want a headstone for your grave, the cost of a basic market is at least $1000. For an upright headstone, this number can rise to $5000. 

Any unexpected funeral costs, arising from sudden or wrongful death concerns, can cost the average American family upwards of $9000. For a grave plot and marker on top of that, this can cost up to $15000. 

Of course, it’s always an option to pay for grave plots in advance, which will bring this final cost down by a considerable degree. A lot of families prefer to do so to avoid the expenses of a grave plot and headstone on top of the funeral service itself. 

The Cost of a Cremation

To be cremated, it’s going to cost about $6260, on average. Every element of the cremation, such as the service, the urn, and memorial prints, are included under this price. 

This number can be made cheaper by choosing to cremate at home: without needing to pay for an urn or memorial prints, and instead host a private and close ceremony, a cremation can cost between $500 and $1000. 

A Detailed Breakdown of the Average Funeral Expenses

It’s common funeral policy to give an itemised breakdown of funeral expenses on a case by case basis, but according to the national averages, these are the costs a family will face when preparing and paying for a loved one’s funeral:

    • Professional Service Fee, to cover labor and equipment costs: $2100
    • Remains Transportation Fee, to take the body to the mortuary: $325
    • Embalming Fee, which is most often required for open casket services: $725
    • Cosmetic Preparations Fee, which concerns makeup, clothing, and hairdressing: $250
    • Viewing Facility Fee, if you wish to use the funeral home’s own chapel: $425
    • Service of Funeral Home Staff Fee, if you choose to use this team to help out with the service: $500
    • Hearse Fee, for transporting the body from the funeral home to the cemetery: $325
    • Service Car Fee, to transport family members: $150
    • Memorial Package Fee, consisting of pamphlets and prayer cards to honor the deceased/provide details of the funeral service: $160
    • Metal Casket Fee, for a standard casket not made of mahogany, copper, or bronze: $2400 – be sure to keep an eye for any extra ‘sealer’ or ‘gasketed’ casket fees, which raise the cost but do nothing to protect your loved one’s body
    • Vault Fee, which covers the cost of the protective enclosure that’ll keep the casket from being squashed by heavy earth or damaged by moving vehicles: $1395
    • Cremation Casket Fee, which covers the cost of the combustible casket a body is placed in when put into the cremation chamber: $1000
    • Cremation Fee: $350

 

  • Urn Fee: $275

 

There are a few other costs you may also have to pay for:

  • Funeral Plot Fees, which depend on what you want and where you want the plot to be: between $1000 and $4000
  • Grave Markers and/or Headstone Fees: between $200 and $6000
  • Flower Fees, depending on the type of flower you want and how many you want of them: at least $150

You’ll also need to take location into account – depending on what state or region you live in, funeral costs can also vary: 

For a burial, there are the 5 most expensive cities:

  1. Rockville, Maryland ($9,847)
  2. Bernardsville, New Jersey ($9,265)
  3. Metairie, Louisiana ($9,191)
  4. Stamford, Connecticut ($9,121)
  5. Summit, New Jersey ($8,905)

These are the 5 least expensive cities:

  1. Las Cruces, New Mexico ($4,560)
  2. Olympia, Washington ($4,702)
  3. Moore, Oklahoma ($4,830)
  4. Oak Creek, Wisconsin ($4,940)
  5. Kailua, Hawaii ($4,974)


For a cremation, these are the 5 most expensive cities:

  1. Rockville, Maryland ($9,847)
  2. Bernardsville, New Jersey ($9,265)
  3. Metairie, Louisiana ($9,191)
  4. Stamford, Connecticut ($9,121)
  5. Summit, New Jersey ($8,905)

These are the 5 least expensive cities:

  1. Las Cruces, New Mexico ($1,860)
  2. Olympia, Washington ($1,997)
  3. Moore, Oklahoma ($1,999)
  4. Grants Pass, Oregon ($2,178)
  5. Oak Creek, Wisconsin ($2,190)

Are You Paying Too Much For Your Funeral?

Make sure you know the average cost of funeral, and then reach out! Organisations such as the Funeral Consumers Alliance, or the National Funeral Directors Association are there to provide support for your family. 

A lot of people are taken advantage of during times of bereavement, and extra expenses you don’t need to pay are put on your tab. If you see a fee you’re being asked to pay that isn’t on the list above, be sure to ask what you’re paying for and why. 

Always ask for a price list, before agreeing to any services, and try to come up with a budget beforehand.

Leave a Reply